First Ever Construction Sport Van Rally – North

by | May 23, 2024 | News | 0 comments

Where do we start! The first Construction Sport Van Rally; a rally in a van to the tip of Scotland and back.

Firstly, I must address the reasons why we went on this huge endeavour. Suicide in construction is at an all-time high, due to poor addressment of mental health issues on site, leaving an individual vulnerable to a whole host of things. Our plan with the rally was to drive across as much of the UK as possible, meet as many great people in the sector as possible, and spread awareness and knowledge about mental health improvements in construction through sport. We also did the rally to show off the van that did it at UK Construction Week!

Secondly, we would like to thank On The Tools for their support and coverage, FC Labs for their support, Volkswagen Chelmsford for the van, along with UK Construction Week, of course.

Construction Sport London Marathon Trek 2
Construction Sport London Marathon Trek 2

The rally started off in Maldon, Essex with our 2 vans: one white with the orange and grey Construction Sport livery and one all black. We first set off to Cambridgeshire to pick up one of the CS team, through to the Leeds area to pick up Lee from On The Tools and headed on to meet golf coach Phil Akers to get some golf action in.

After some small golf competitions, we got back on the road for another few hours, heading to The Angel of the North in Newcastle, and then onto St. James’ Park, home to Newcastle United. We met another team member from On The Tools at St. James’ Park, along with FC Labs, who equipped us with Fitbits to monitor our brain health over the course of the rest of the rally.

Construction Sport London Marathon Trek 2
helping out fellow construction worker

It was straight back on the road again, this time to Edinburgh! As we headed more and more north towards and through the border into Scotland, the scenery got progressively more beautiful, a great sight for tired eyes. We hit the streets of Edinburgh bang on rush hour, meaning that our check point was so close yet so far, but finally, we made it to our place for the night.

The next day arrived and we were in the vans by 5:30am, getting promptly back on the road for our journey to our next destination – John O’Groats. Further towards the highlands we drove, stopping off on the way to speak to some great people in construction – SNIPEF, McTaggart, Stuart McLean and Jimmy Hendry, to speak about mental health in construction and what they have experienced, or have in place currently, to work out how to improve the standards in Scotland through sport.

We passed on through Inverness and more of the trademark Scottish picturesque scenery, until the tiredness had set in; the haggis and egg rolls we had for breakfast were just about fuelling us to get us all the way to John O’Groats.

Construction Sport London Marathon Trek 2
helping out fellow construction worker

Lo and behold, we made it! We made it to the top end of the UK, the famous John O’Groats! What an achievement and sense of fulfilment to reach it all the way there. We shared nice moments at John O’Groats with some fellow long-distance adventurers who we met there. They listened to us and our story about what we’re doing and showed their support straight away, which was lovely and amazing to experience!

After our obligatory John O’Groats sign pictures, we headed into the Christmas Shop (yes it’s real!) and also grabbed a quick ice cream, before out endeavour towards the lochs began.

Another 5 or so hours of driving through stunning Scottish scenery got us to Fearnan for our second place to rest before the final day of driving.

Day 3 was greeted by an even more tired 5am rising, although this time we were awoken to the most stunning view of Loch Tay. After we soaked up the views one last time, we set off towards Glasgow. The mountains, castles and lochs slowly disappeared as we made our way past Glasgow, towards the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales with the destination of Liverpool.

We arrived at Liverpool early afternoon on day 3, to then make our mark with a picture in front of Anfield, home of Liverpool FC. We also spoke with a local decorator who gave us some insight into mental health in construction in the Liverpool area which gave us some great insight and information.

strong network of mates
strong network of mates

We arrived at Liverpool early afternoon on day 3, to then make our mark with a picture in front of Anfield, home of Liverpool FC. We also spoke with a local decorator who gave us some insight into mental health in construction in the Liverpool area which gave us some great insight and information.

After food and fuel, we headed next towards Birmingham to speak with Martin Kenty from Brick Makeover to get his views on mental health in construction, before finally making our last descent down the UK, heading home after a gruelling 3 days of driving. Our van had made it home safely, with it then heading to UK Construction Week to be on stand for the following week and raise awareness there.

We now live to tell the tale, the first ever Construction Sport Van Rally, heading to John O’Groats and back in 3 days!

helping out fellow construction worker

Thank you to everyone that joined us on our journey, keeping the moral and energy high through the long drives, whilst also providing valuable and important information about mental health in the construction industry for us to share.

We’re now eagerly looking forward to our next Van Rally (South) in September! Mark your calendars and email us at info@constructionsport.com to let us know if you would like to get involved!

George Whiting – Construction Sport

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